STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Three Views of Nnenna Freelon


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This week's video spotlight shines on singer Nnenna Freelon, who's coming to St. Louis to perform Wednesday, December 3 through Saturday, December 6 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Now 54 years old, Freelon didn't begin singing professionally until she was in her late thirties, but since then she's more than made up for lost time, performing and recording with many well-known jazz artists including the Count Basie Orchestra, Ray Charles, Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Dianne Reeves, Diana Krall, Ramsey Lewis, George Benson, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard. She has been nominated for five Grammy awards and has recorded a wide variety of material, including standards, contemporary covers, originals and tributes to Stevie Wonder and Billie Holiday.

Today's clips show Freelon in three different musical situations. First up is “Get Out Of Town," recorded at the Panama Jazz Festival with a small combo. The second clip shows Freelon with Germany's WDR Big Band performing “I Cried For You," and last but not least is a performance from the 2001 Grammy Awards broadcast, in which Freelon teams up with vocal group Take 6 for a version of “Straighten Up And Fly Right" that earned a standing ovation from the audience of veteran music industry pros.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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